United Kingdom to land rover on the Moon by 2021


A model of the Spacebit robot which is looking to be the first UK-built rover to land on the moon Credit Julian Simmonds

The UK's first Moon rover will be sent into space in 2021.

Announced at the New Scientist Live event in London's ExCeL, UK-grown start-up space company SpaceBit created and designed the robot.

"Our goal is to go there and see what is available there for all humanity to explore", he said. It's a very small thing, and in terms of the science it'll do up there, the key claim seems to be that its legged construction is being tested as a way to explore parts of the lunar surface that traditional trundling rovers can't get to. Ideal the US, China and Russian Federation appreciate successfully done so.

Astrobotic's Peregrine lander is taking a bundle of NASA and private equipment to the moon, with a total of 28 small payloads set to deploy when it lands.

The U.K. has built another rover, called the Rosalind Franklin, which it hopes will one day land on Mars. "This mission will result in the first payload from the United Kingdom to reach the Moon surface and mark the beginning of a new era in commercial space exploration for Britain".

The battery and solar-powered machine will take measurements and collect data, as well as use its two cameras to capture "robot selfies".

The reason for the legs is that, in future lunar missions, the rover will go into lava tubes, which has not been possible before.

Mr Tanasyuk said it was a one-way mission for the rover.

"It will spend up to 10 days on the Moon before going into the night and basically freezing forever", he said.

Spacebit plans to run a competition to allow the public to choose the name for the new rover - despite a recent poll to name a new British research ship being won by "Boaty McBoatface".

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